Gaining and keeping your competitive edge online

There are millions of web sites on the web showcasing many different businesses in varying industries. And each business has thousands of potential rivals. This reason alone should be enough for you to focus your efforts to gain an edge over them. As the author Seth Godin puts it, it pays to be the purple cow in a field where brown cows graze. Let the practical tips below be your first steps in standing out and make that online marketing endeavour pay up.

USP: What in the world is it?

USP stands for unique selling proposition. It is how you will sell yourself to the potential clients. Forget how marketing specialists define it. You can determine your USP by answering the following questions:

 What product and/or services do I offer that the clients can’t find elsewhere?

Suppose someone would recommend Etopian Inc, what would I want that person to say?

Why would the probable clients choose Etopian Inc.?

 Your answers to these questions would tell you what makes you unique. This will set you apart from the rest of the pack. This can be your trademark that you can use to be recognized and remembered.

Work on your website.

Maintaining a website is a must in online marketing. Remember that it speaks for you and your business. It is not just a platform where you sell. More importantly, it is a tool to reach out to your probable clients. Make sure that it contains all the important details that your customers would like to know. You may include supplemental details that will increase the chances of your customers finding a win-win solutions before they even talk to you – in another words let your customers sell themselves. For instance, post positive testimonials from your previous clients and videos that share practical tips and sell your products/services indirectly at the same time.

Generate more web traffic.

There are tons of ways to do this. Your USP is no good if you keep it to yourself. Podcasting isn’t just fun, it can also help you market your company. Another effective tool is writing articles you can post to popular blogs and websites. Embed a link that will lead the visitors to your web site. You don’t always have to pay for this. You can exchange favours and encourage other businesses to post their articles on your site which are relevant to your audience. Cater to visual people through making videos of you or your previous clients sharing a testimony about how your products have helped them and post it to popular social media – one word of advice, these must be genuine and look at least somewhat professional otherwise they may do more harm than good. Take advantage of the social networking site’s fame. Create a page for free and gain a huge following. How? Well we can’t give all of our secrets away, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts through getting feedback.

Survey and ratings are two vital components that can help you get feedback from your clients. This will give you an idea whether or not your marketing efforts work. Prepare a survey form and have it filled out by your clients and people making visits to your website – it is whatever much easier to get your clients to fill out your surveys if they are satisfied than a random customer looking for a product or service. Having them rate say, Etopian Inc’s products and services would give you an idea which ones you should work on more to make them more pleasing to your clients.

Rinse & Repeat

Marketing is a process, not a product or a result. Just because you already have done everything above, it does not mean you are done. You must continue monitor your unique selling proposition to make sure it continues to be unique. The same goes for generating and keeping traffic coming to your site. Finally, you must keep collecting feedback which can be used to refine the other steps or to gives you a heads up on how you can keep improving so you won’t be buried in competition.

Published on: 13 November 2012
Posted by: Sami K.